Reel Maintenance

from 11/8/01</font id=blue>

It’s the first trip of the season… I know what you are thinking. “Andy, it is a little early for spring fever.” Bear with me, I have not lost my mind yet. It is the first trip of the season. The reports of tuna, dolphin, wahoo, and marlin have been excellent. You lay out all of your favorite baits and look at them with a proud smile knowing it is just a matter of time before the action begins. You assure all of your buddies that any minute now your awesome angling techniques will become apparent. Sure enough the starboard outrigger clip snaps and the reel begins to scream. You smile at your buddies, as if to say, “I am the man”. About that time the sweet sound of the drag becomes a screeching grinding noise. The reel freezes up and the line snaps. Now all of your buddies are looking at you like you would make a nice teaser to drag behind the boat for the rest of the day. You explain that you took your reels by the tackle shop for their annual tune up, but they were so busy they could not get them done in time for your trip so you did not get them serviced. This does little to appease them and although you catch fish with the other rods, they will never let you live this one down.
Properly maintaining your tackle can save you money and embarrassment. With proper maintenance quality reels will last many years. Here are a few steps that you can do as a part of each fishing trip.

After each trip wash your tackle down with fresh water to remove all of the salt particles. Most manufacturers agree that gently washing off your reels with a light spray is the way to go. If you blast them with high pressure and the hose on high you will probably push the salt farther down into the inner workings of the reels. A soapy solution of a mild detergent can be used to wipe reels down. This will also help break down and buildup of salt-crystals. Again the best way to accomplish this is to gently wipe the reels with a soft material. Vigorous scrubbing with an abrasive object could